Screening Room: Men in Black 3, Chernobyl Diaries

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MEN IN BLACK 3 (PG-13)
RUSS
The best special effect in the effects-laden extravaganza “Men in Black 3” is Josh Brolin, who does an uncanny version of Tommy Lee Jones…40 years younger.

SHAWN
"Men in Black 3" is a return to form for Will Smith or at the very least a not so subtle reminder of why he's the biggest movie star on the planet. He's Fresh Prince fresh. Re-energized, focused and so full of swag you won't even notice all of the movies many flaws. And there are a ton. But what time travel movie isn't loaded with implausabilities?  At least this one is fun and hilarious.
RUSS
Will Smith turns his patented charisma up to “11” as Agent J travels back in time to save Agent K, Jones’ character, from certain death at the hands of an evil alien. The movie’s affable tone is in lock step with the previous MIB movies, so if you found those comedies entertaining, you’re likely to enjoy this fun, featherweight sci-fi flick.

SHAWN
Compared to 1 and 2 "Men in Black 3" features a much better story. It's clever, witty and heartfelt. The original zaniness is still present but isn't over the top to the point of being silly.


For all of his star power Will Smith isn't the only one who shines on screen. Josh Brolin as a young Tommy Lee Jones is fantastic and comedian Jemaine Clement as the villain Boris the Animal is excellent but it's Michael Stuhlbarg as an oracle figure who really helps to elevate this version to being the best of the entire franchise. But in the end the sell is Will Smith's cereal on Saturday morning persona that seals the deal. Welcome back.

RUSS: 4 Popcorn Bags
SHAWN: 4 Popcorn Bags
CHERNOBYL DIARIES (R)

RUSS
The folks who brought you "Paranormal Activity" return with a creepy entry called "Chernobyl Diaries." It's got a great premise. A group of tourists sneak into the the abandoned site of the famous nuclear disaster, only to be hunted by mutants. 
The handheld camerawork gets old fast, but the movie has a lot of creepy moments. Too bad it's saddled with a lame ending.

RUSS: 3 Popcorn Bags
SOUND OF MY VOICE
RUSS
“Sound of My Voice” is another time-travel sci-fi opus, but with a much darker tone than "Men in Black 3". Actress and writer Brit Marling, who scored last year with another low budget sci-fi drama, “Another Earth,” plays the leader of a mysterious cult who claims to be from the future. Is she a fake, or is she warning of a disaster to come. It plays a bit like an extended episode of “The Twilight Zone” complete with the requisite twist ending.
RUSS: 3 Popcorn Bags
UNDEFEATED (PG-13)

RUSS

“Undefeated” was the winner of this year’s Best Documentary Oscar. This emotionally involving movie chronicles the 2009 season of a poverty-stricken North Memphis inner city high school football team, attempting to win its first playoff game in it’s 110-year history. As volunteer coach Bill Courtney aptly put it, “Football doesn’t build character, it reveals character.”

RUSS: 4 Popcorn Bags

FIRST POSITION (Not rated)

RUSS

“First Position” is a documentary about the Youth America Grand Prix ballet competition. The movie focuses on seven kids from around the world and their grueling preparation. Seeing some of these terrific performances will put a smile on the face of any dance fan.

RUSS: 3 Popcorn Bags

ALSO OPENING THIS WEEK:

Diane Keaton and Kevin Kline star in the drama “Darling Companion” about a woman who loves her dog more than her husband.


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